Thursday, February 22, 2024

Welcome back, Valerie Massey Goree!

The inspiration for: 
Meet Me Where the Windrush Flows
By Valerie Massey Goree

This is the first time the setting for a story has been my inspiration. In February last year, I was visiting with the woman who does my income taxes. She knows about my novels and my love of traveling. I mentioned that I’d like to return to England and stay in a cottage in a little village, something my husband and I didn’t do when we visited in 2019.

She replied, “Good idea. You can do research for a book you set there, and then use some expenses as a deduction on your taxes next year.”

Aha! That started the wheels turning. I immediately checked out villages online and found so many cute places. I chose Bourton-on-the-Water and then located a cottage that fit our needs. (A friend traveled with me.)

We also wanted to attend the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland which is only performed in August. Now, the month was set.

During the plotting stage of the story, I researched the history of the village and its location online. I had to have a reason for my hero and heroine, both Americans, to be in Bourton for more than a few days. The research provided the perfect reason for my heroine, and then I created one for my hero.

I began writing with the knowledge I’d have to make revisions after I stayed in the village. We spent 
eight wonderful days in the cottage and also enjoyed trips to other villages in the Cotswolds. Although Bourton-on-the-Water was inundated with tourists, it was still a magical place. I loved researching locations to use in my story while I absorbed the peaceful idyllic atmosphere after the crowds left for the day.

The owner of the cottage agreed for me to use it in my story. My hero stayed there for a week. But he left Bourton briefly and when he returned, he had to find a different cottage. So did I. The owner of the second cottage also agreed I could use the real place in my story. She asked for a signed copy of the book to keep in the cottage for her guests. Both cottages are great places to stay.

I know I will be able to use some deductions on my income taxes, but the benefit I derived from living in my cottage in my village far outweighs any monetary benefit. The Windrush River runs through the village, and I love that name. Before I ever left Texas, I’d decided to title the novel, Where the Windrush Flows. However, while doing research in the village library, I found a non-fiction book with that title. I didn’t want to risk alienating the local population by using the same title.

Hence my title: Meet Me Where the Windrush Flows.

About the book:

She’s an anthropologist working as a visiting professor in England. He’s a pediatric surgeon taking his ill mother on her bucket list trip to England.

Grace and Logan are instantly attracted when they meet in a small village in the Cotswolds. But will the threat to her life and accusations of malpractice against him encourage their romance or keep them apart?


About to leave, he (Logan) couldn’t help but overhear the conversation at the table behind him.

“Do you think the bones I found might be Roman?”
Intrigue stopped him in his tracks. Roman as in Roman ruins? He had to ask. “Excuse me. I heard your question. What…where are these bones? I’m interested in Roman ruins of any kind. While we’ve been in England, I’ve visited many sites. Maybe I can help?”

“Are you an archeologist?” Grace asked.

“No, a doctor, a pediatric surgeon, but I’m taking a break to help my mother.”
If anyone but Grace had asked, he would have responded only with a shrug. “Staying in Bourton-on-the-Water is on her bucket list.”
“What a nice son.”

Debatable. Grace’s reply ruffled his usual calm. His trip to the UK and away from Texas was as much for his benefit as Mother’s.

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